Our Seas Our Future says the Government’s revised Māui and Hector’s Threat Management Plan, released yesterday, will provide greater protection for the endangered dolphin species, but unfortunately, there are still areas in the plan that need improvement.
Our Seas Our Future spokesperson Noel Jhinku, says the new measures including the nationwide ban on drift netting and action plan for toxoplasmosis are particularly promising, in addition to targeted transitional support for fishers and their communities affected by changes, but not all threats have been adequately addressed.
“The implementation of the TMP will be a true test of whether New Zealand can save its endemic Hector’s and Maui Dolphins from all current threats. There’s still significant risk imposed by remaining set-net and trawl fisheries, as well as other threats, that needs further Government consideration and additional regulation.
“There are only 63 Māui dolphins over the age of one left, so it’s critical and necessary that we take action to ensure they are there for future generations before it’s too late. Found only in New Zealand waters, we have a responsibility to protect these vulnerable and unique dolphins from extinction.
“Time is running out for the Māui and Hector’s, and we know the urgency of action required to save them. We’ll continue to advocate for the greatest protection possible where gaps exist in the TMP to prevent the human-caused extinction of our endemic dolphins,” says Jhinku.
Link to OSOF submission on the TMP: https://bit.ly/3dtyh4E